Chariots - Daybreak (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Daybreak (2005)

Big Scary Monsters

Main Entry: sub·stance
Pronunciation: 's&b-st&n(t)s
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin substantia, from substant-, substans, present participle of substare to stand under, from sub- + stare to stand -- more at STAND
1 a : essential nature : ESSENCE b : a fundamental or characteristic part or quality

Finally: hardcore for an existentialist.

Alright, I'll expand on that a little. Chariots' debut album, Daybreak, is probably the only metal/hardcore (trying desperately to avoid using "metalcore") album I need right now. With a great mix of Darkest Hour circa The Mark of the Judas and Converge at their best, Chariots have created an album that's challenging to listen to, yet beautiful in both structure and aesthetics. With heavy guitars and desperate vocals and lyrics, Daybreak isn't groundbreaking, but is certainly far, far from terrible.

Daybreak demands the listener's attention by coming across as intelligent with a sense of confidence a British band would need to break into a field that is overwhelmingly (seemingly) a product of America -- save of course for the obvious Scandinavian influences.

Chariots' lyrics reflect more on human nature than politics and lost love. You don't need a dictionary to navigate through their adjectives, but keeping the lyrics close at hand wouldn't hurt. I mean, how many people can really (honestly now) listen to a band like Chariots, or for the uninitiated's sake, the Locust, and be able to pick out what they're saying. What's so great about Chariots is that they make me want to read the lyrics -- an activity not too popular with the iPod generation.

What seals the deal is that they drop a quote from Albert Camus -- whose "The Outsider" is incredible -- into the liner notes. Following suit by throwing Nietzsche into the third song, "Screwtape" (although not in the most favorable light), Chariots is smart -- how nice.

What could turn out to be one of the year's heaviest (fuck it) metalcore albums, the only way Daybreak could have been improved is had it been slightly more innovative. I've heard this sound before (although not done so well).

Chariots is recommended to fans of good music everywhere.